Today I’m pondering the concept of “autonomy.” What does it mean? What does it look like? How do I create it for myself?
There is cutting truth to the need for community, and if you don’t have a community…well, you might end up cutting. Or drinking. Or smoking weed with a bunch of people in the desperation to escape the vexing darkness of depression, or to try controlling anxiety in exchange for the awareness of reality.
Despite the cravings for connection embedded in the sinews of our souls, there also exists the elusive abstract of individuality. Community and individuality are relational yin-yang that leaves many of us yo-yoing beliefs, behaviors, dreadful clothing, and (occasionally) sobriety.
Despite my ability to walk, cook, clean, create, and strategize via my God-given boundaries of bone, blood, and ever disintegrating skin, I possess a never-ceasing truth:
I need you.
Not specifically “you.” That’s not healthy. My happiness is naturally affected by others, but it is my responsibility to manage it, pursue it, and develop it. Happiness must never depend upon the healthiness of others, nor the degree of love expressed by any one person or thing.
My friends can’t make me happy, my coworkers can’t make me happy, and my family can’t make me happy. They affect me but do not define me. If they did I would not be an artist, creative writer, or even a ginger.
Every thought, feeling, and sensation that I experience are my own. They are mine!
When I daydream of red grass, purple oceans, or the occasion Yaagonian pirate I am being me. When I randomly induce kinetic energy into my thighs and relocate my existence to a coffee shop I am being me. Every time I scream the lyrics to “Paralysed” by A Silent Film, practice escrima stick fighting, or leap off a rooftop to insert my ruby-red Blade of the Blind Monks into the skull of an unsuspecting demon, I am being me.
If we are to have full, effective community we must also embrace the separateness that allows community to exist. I am I and you are you. Let’s keep it that way.